Archive for November, 2011


crema di limoncello

November 27, 2011

a lemon-creamsicle liqueur? whoa! my mom’s homemade irish cream, with whiskey, eggs, and a mess of other strange things, was completely magickal. this sounds easier: just infuse, heat milk, and combine? i’m in!

5 lemons
2 cups Everclear (You could substitute vodka in this recipe, but Everclear has a higher alcohol content than other vodkas. If you use another vodka, reduce the amount of milk used)
4 cups of whole milk
1.5 cups of sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla (or half a a vanilla bean)
Cheesecloth or a fine mesh strainer

Zest the lemons (using a grater, or by peeling strips off with a knife/peeler). Place Everclear and lemon zest into a jar and seal. Store in a cool, dry place for one week (or more. I let mine steep for two weeks). Strain using cheesecloth or strainer to remove zest.

In a small pot or saucepan, warm the milk over medium heat. Add in the sugar and the vanilla, and cook (stirring frequently) until the sugar has dissolved. Remove milk mixture from heat and allow to cool.

Once cool, mix milk and infused Everclear together in a large bowl or pitcher. Funnel into bottles, jars, or other tightly sealed containers. Store in the fridge or freezer. Serve chilled.

Note: Limoncello is usually served as an after dinner cocktail. I like to serve it in small glasses, poured straight out of the freezer. The colder the better!


fried cauliflower with tahini-pom sauce

November 27, 2011

i recently picked up a bottle of pomegranate molasses at a middle eastern shop. for $2, how could you go wrong? i think i’ll try it for the first time tonight, either in an eggplant-lentil stew or this, a fantastic-looking recipe from here.



500ml sunflower oil
2 medium cauliflower heads, split into small florets, weighing 1kg in all
8 spring onions, each cut into three long segments
180g tahini paste
2 garlic cloves, peeled and crushed
15g chopped parsley
15g chopped mint, plus more to finish
150g Greek yoghurt
3 tbsp lemon juice
1 tsp pomegranate molasses, plus more to finish
sea salt and black pepper
Roughly 180ml water

Heat the oil in a large saucepan. Lay in a few cauliflower florets at a time and cook for two to three minutes, turning so they colour evenly. Once golden-brown, transfer to a colander with a slotted spoon, sprinkle with a little salt and leave to drain. Repeat with the rest of the cauliflower. Next, fry the spring onions, also in batches, for a minute. Add to the cauliflower and leave to cool down.

Pour the tahini paste into a large mixing bowl and add the garlic, herbs, yoghurt, lemon juice, pomegranate molasses and seasoning. Stir with a wooden spoon as you add the water. The tahini sauce will first thicken and then loosen up as you add water. Don’t add too much, just enough to get a thick yet smooth pourable consistency, a bit like honey.

Stir the cauliflower and onion into the tahini bowl, taste and adjust the seasoning. You may also want to add more lemon juice.

To serve, spoon into a serving bowl and finish with a few drops of pomegranate molasses and some mint.


I didn’t really follow the proportions. Also, the recipe called for way more sauce than my cauliflower needed. I tried to stick somewhat closely, though. Because the cauliflower are fried, it’s much more filling than it sounds, and part of a batch did me well for lunch. The pomegranate molasses doesn’t stand out strongly; the sauce mostly tastes of tahini and lemon. Cauliflower isn’t my favorite, but this camouflaged the cauliflower flavor well enough that I ate until I was full! I hoped that frying the cauliflower in oil would make it less cauliflowery, but it didn’t.

Not my favorite dish, but the yogurt sauce was good. I suspect I will find myself making that yogurt sauce again – but without the cauliflower.


aloo paratha

November 17, 2011

aloo paratha:


•1 cup whole-wheat flour
•1/2 cup water (Use more as needed)
•Pinch of salt

Potato Filling
•2 medium potatoes
•1/4 teaspoon salt
•1/2 teaspoon cumin seeds (Jeera)
•1 chopped green chili
•2 tablespoons chopped cilantro (green coriander)
•1/2 teaspoon garam masala (optional)
•1/2 teaspoon amchoor powder (optional)

Also needed
•1/4 cup whole-wheat flour for rolling
•Oil to cook

1.Mix flour, salt and water together to make soft dough (if the dough is hard add a little more water). I like mixing the dough by hand.

2.Knead the dough for a few minutes on a lightly greased surface to make smooth and pliable dough.

3.Set the dough aside and cover it with a damp cloth. Let the dough rest for at least ten minutes.

1.Boil 2 medium potatoes with 2 cups of water. After the water comes to a boil, reduce the heat to medium. Let the potatoes cook until they are tender.

2.Once tender, remove them from the water and let them cool down. Note: Do not cool the potatoes under running water because the potatoes will become too soft.

3.After the potatoes are cold enough to handle, peel the skin off and mash the potatoes.

4.Mix green chilies, cilantro, cumin seeds and salt to the mashed potatoes.

Making paratha
1. Divide the dough and potato mixture into 6 equal parts. The potato balls should be about 1 1/2 times larger than the dough balls.

2. Roll the dough into 3 inch diameter circles. Place the potato balls in the center. Seal by pulling the edges of the rolled dough together to make a ball.

3. Proceed to make all six balls.

4. Let them settle for 3 to 4 minutes before rolling them.

5. Heat the skillet on medium high. Note: An iron skillet works best. To check if the skillet is hot enough, sprinkle a couple of drops of water on it. If the water sizzles right away, the skillet is ready.

7. To make it easier to roll the balls, first roll them in dry whole-wheat flour.

8. Lightly press the ball on the sealed side and keep it on the topside when rolling. Roll the ball light handed in to 6-inch circles. Whenever the dough sticks to the rolling pin or rolling surface, lightly sprinkle dry whole-wheat flour on both sides of the semi-rolled paratha.

9. Place the paratha over the skillet. After a few seconds you will see the paratha change color and puff in different places.

10. Then flip the paratha over. You should see some golden-brown spots on the topside. After a few seconds, spread 1 teaspoon of oil on the paratha. Again, flip the paratha and lightly press the puffed areas with a spatula.

11. Flip again and press with the spatula making sure the paratha is golden-brown on both sides.

12. Cool the parathas on a wire rack so they don’t get soggy.

13.Parathas can be kept out for up to 2 days wrapped in aluminum foil or in a covered container. For later use, parathas can be refrigerated for 5-6 days or frozen in foil for a month. Re-heat on a skillet or toaster oven.

Try substituting chopped cilantro with a 1/4 cup of finely chopped mint leaves. You can use a variety of herbs in this recipe. Make sure to remove all excess water when adding your choice of fresh herbs.

thanks, manjula!


wonderful! next time, thinner and cooked at a higher temp, because these absorbed every drop of oil in the pan and came out greasy-dripping. fantastic, though.


beef liver and onions

November 17, 2011

scored some locally raised beef liver for an absurdly cheap price.

nervous; i’ve never made beef liver before…


wash liver in water, cut into slices, then soak in milk for an hour or two.

melt butter and saute onions.

dredge liver in flour + seasoned salt and fry on med-high heat, like steak, until mostly cooked through and browned on both sides.

might saute mushrooms and add a little sherry.


uh.. wow. it’s like chicken liver x100. i don’t prefer beef liver to chicken, that’s for sure. really intense. but delicious. (although i didn’t climb the ceiling like the cat did after he tasted it.) i eat hardly any beef at all, and this didn’t change my mind. i’ll probably avoid beef liver in the future, unless i find another sale with lick creek beef, our local chemical-free, hormone-free cow folk. $1.99/lb!!!!


bahn hoi

November 17, 2011

what? a steamed noodle-and-cornmeal pancake??? i have no idea what this would taste like.

250 g rice vermicelli

100 g corn flour

2 T. Oil

Method :
Soak the vermicelli in very hot water for about 5 minutes.

Drain thoroughly.

The vermicelli should be as dry as possible.

Put them into a large mixing bowl. Cover with with corn flour, making sure it is well coated.

Bring some water to the boil in a steamer and grease the steamer rack with some of the oil.

Spread some of the noodles out flat over the steamer rack in a thin layer to make a 25 cm pancake.

Cover and steam for about 6-7 minutes.

Remove the cake to a board either with a spatula or by inverting the steamer rack.

Re-oil the rack and make the next noodle cake.

You should make four in all.

As the cakes cool down on the board, they form a sort of pancake.

Cut them into squares shape.

Serve warm.



sourdough recipe ii

November 17, 2011

when i return, i vow to start a new sourdough starter. and i think i’ll try this recipe. just look at those photos!

Norwich Sourdough
(adapted from Vermont Sourdough in Bread: A Baker’s Book of Techniques and Recipes by Jeffrey Hamelman)

Yield: 2 kg (four or five small, or two large, loaves)


Mix/autolyse: 35 minutes
First fermentation: 2.5 hours
Divide, bench rest, and shape: 20 minutes
Proof: 2.5 hours (or 1.5 hours, then retard for 2 – 16 hours)
Bake: 35 minutes

Desired dough temperature: 76F


900 g white flour
120 g whole rye flour
600 g water at about 74F
360 g ripe 100% hydration sourdough starter
23 g salt


In the bowl of a stand mixer, mix the flours, water, and starter on low speed until just combined, about one minute.
Let the dough rest (autolyse) for 30 minutes.
Add the salt and continue mixing on low or medium speed until the dough reaches a medium level of gluten development. This should only take about 3 or 4 minutes.
Transfer the dough to an oiled container (preferably a low, wide one so the dough can be folded without removing it from the container).
Ferment at room temperature (72F – 76F) for 2.5 hours, with folds at 50 and 100 minutes.
Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured counter. Divide it into 400g – 500g pieces. I usually make four 400g loaves and refrigerate the rest to use for pizza dough later. Preshape the dough pieces into light balls.
Sprinkle the balls lightly with flour, cover loosely with plastic, and let rest for 15 minutes.
Shape into batards and place seam-side-up in a floured couche or linen-lined bannetons.

Slip the couche or bannetons into a large plastic bag or cover with plastic wrap and proof at room temperature for 2 – 2.5 hours. Alternatively, the loaves can be proofed for about 1.5 hours at room temperature, then refrigerated for 2 – 16 hours and baked directly out of the refrigerator; this will yield a tangier bread with a lovely, blistered crust.
Meanwhile, preheat the oven, with baking stone, to 475F. You will also need steam during the initial phase of baking, so prepare for this now.
Turn the proofed loaves onto a semolina-sprinkled peel or parchment. Slash each one with two overlapping cuts that are almost parallel to the long axis of the batard.

Once the loaves are in the oven, turn the heat down to 450F. For 400g loaves, bake for 12 minutes with steam, and another 15 – 18 minutes without steam. I leave the oven door cracked open a bit for the last 5 minutes of this time. The crust should be a deep brown. Then turn off the oven and leave the loaves in for 5 minutes longer, with the door ajar, to help them dry. Larger loaves will need to be baked longer.
Cool on a wire rack. Don’t cut until the loaves are completely cool, if you can manage it!


rote riebesalat (german sweet and sour beet salad)

November 17, 2011

oh, try this!

Rote Riebesalat


2 ea red beets; bunches


2 tb water

1/4 c vinegar

1/2 tb caraway seeds

pinch of sugar (do beets need sugar? not really! this is optional!)

2 tb onion; minced

1 ts horseradish

1/4 ts cloves; ground

1/2 ts salt

1/4 ts pepper

4 tb salad oil, like walnut or olive


original instructions:

Wash beets, trim off greens, place in medium saucepan, and cook, without peeling, in salted water to cover, until beets are tender. Peel and slice. Prepare marinade dressing by combining remaining ingredients. Pour over beets and let stand for several hours before serving. Stir beets occasionally.

my instructions:
combine all marinade ingredients in a jar. shake the jar. add a can of beets. (for one can, cut ingredients in half.) add beets to jar, leave on counter, shake several times an hour for a few hours.

adapted by friedsig from Harald Pleiner.


edit 2018:

seriously delicious. one of my new favorite schwabisch / swabian recipes!